One of the largest surveys of vapers ever conducted shows almost a million Americans quit smoking permanently thanks to e-cigarettes.
At the end of 2015, The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) carried out a survey of close to 20,000 vapers. The participants were drawn from CASAA members resident in the U.S.
Because the sample is highly defined and self-selecting, the results are not entirely representative of the wider population of vapers. But according to CASAA, the results are representative of one million e-cigarette enthusiasts.
Chief Scientific Officer at CASAA Carl V Phillips writes, “it is the best-defined population of any survey of e-cigarette users to date.” Almost 90 percent of respondents say they gave up smoking completely after they took up vaping, while 5 percent continued to smoke.
The success people had quitting tobacco while using e-cigarettes is in stark contrast to their attempts to quit using traditional cessation methods. Seventy-one percent say they tried using nicotine replacement therapies and 41 percent used pharmaceutical remedies such as Chantix.
Nine hundred and eighty participants were still smoking but in relatively small amounts. Thirty-four percent of the current smokers say they smoke less than one cigarette a day, with 42 percent consuming one to five per day and 23 percent using more than five per day.
Just over half of those who haven’t quit smoking altogether say e-cigarettes helped them almost quit and 44 percent claim they cut the amount they smoked substantially. Worryingly for e-cigarette opponents who doubt effectiveness, 99 percent believe they’d still be smoking if they hadn’t switched to vaping.
The survey was conducted for the benefit of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the hope of preventing the so-called “deeming” regulations that could wipe out the majority of the e-cigarette markets.
In its submission to the FDA, CASAA added the dangers of vaping were dramatically less than those of smoking. “Typical estimates put its health impacts in the range of 1/100th of that from smoking, down in the range of everyday hazards like eating french fries or commuting.”
FDA rules likely to be implemented in 2016 will require all e-cigarette products released after Feb. 15, 2007, to undergo the costly Pre-Market Tobacco Applications (PMTA) process. The PMTA process for each individual product can run between $2-10 million.
Vaping businesses — which typically sell dozens if not hundreds of these products — will not be able to meet this financial burden, putting thousands of jobs at risk and limiting options for vapers.
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